'Dear John' And 'Last Song' Author Nicholas Sparks' Next Novel/Film Will Be ... A Thriller!?!

Nicholas SparksNicholas Sparks is a lucky man. For most, a book needs to have proven itself as an audience draw (or have generated enough buzz before its release) to get Hollywood's attention, but not for Mr. Sparks. No, all he needs to do is announce a new book for the studios to go crazy for.

That's what happened yesterday when Nicholas said he would be coming out with a new book on September 14 called "Safe Haven" that would be — hold your breath, because what you think is coming actually isn't — a thriller with romance involved, which is a big step away from everything he's ever done before.

Even the film adaptations of Nicholas' works that haven't been critical successes have been financial ones, especially the more recent "Dear John" and "The Last Song." So far seven of his novels have made their way to Hollywood, and the majority has starred the teen heartthrobs of the time. It started with Mandy Moore and Shane West in 2002's "A Walk To Remember," and most recently Zac Efron has signed on to star in the upcoming "The Lucky One." Since this is a thriller, though, it seems like casting might follow the "Message in a Bottle" and "Nights in Rodanthe" trend (read: older actors).

But seriously, Nicholas. You know you've jumped the shark when you write a screenplay (and then the book) for Miley Cyrus to act as a starring vehicle for her in a film so that she can replicate Mandy Moore's success in "A Walk To Remember." To quote "Arrested Development," "Come on!"

I digress. It's good news that Nicholas is breaking out of his self-created mold by trying out a thriller genre, and apparently it's got something in it that make the studios more excited than ever.

"Safe Haven, more than any other novel of mine, had more interest from Hollywood ... have been on the phone for hours and hours," Nicholas tweeted. He added later, "I can't say much about the plot of SAFE HAVEN: I can say that I've NEVER had such a passionate response from the movie studios before about ANY OTHER novel I've written. According to those who've read it, it's their absolute favorite of anything I've written."

So, there's that. The studio who will buy the rights is expected to be announced later today. My only hope is that they do a good job with it. Please, do a good job with it. We could use something of the quality of "The Notebook" again.

What do you think of Nicholas Sparks selling another book to Hollywood before it is released? Are you a fan of his books and movies?